Dirty Tricks Specialist Gains Seat on House Committee that Investigated Him

Friday, January 07, 2011
Rep. Tim Griffin
Tim Griffin is back in Washington, DC, and in a twist of political irony, will help investigate those who try to make a mockery of federal laws, or government prosecutors. Kind of like what Griffin did a few years ago.
Griffin was once a Karl Rove protégé, serving under President George W. Bush’s top political strategist. During the 2000 election, he worked for the Republican National Committee as an “opposition researcher.” In the run-up to the 2004 presidential contest, Griffin helped orchestrate a voter-caging scheme that targeted minorities and other voters likely to favor Democratic candidates, in an attempt to swing key states like Ohio to Bush. The ploy involves sending mail to voters at the address at which they are registered. If the mail is returned as undelivered, the voter is removed from the list of eligible voters. Although voter caging is controversial, this was not the action that really got Griffin into trouble. That came during Bush’s second term.
As part of the White House’s plan to remove seven U.S. Attorneys from their posts for various political reasons, Griffin found himself replacing one of the ousted prosecutors, H. E. “Bud Cummins III. Once word got out what the administration had done, the House Judiciary Committee investigated Griffin and others involved. He wound up serving only six months as a U.S. Attorney before resigning, leaving his political career in tatters.
Then came the Republican wave of 2010. Seeing an opportunity to exploit the electorate’s anger towards Democrats, Griffin ran for Congress in Arkansas, and won. He now enjoys a seat on the House Judiciary Committee—only now he’ll be the one doing the investigating.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
An Investigation into the Removal of Nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 pages 115-147 (U.S. Department of Justice) (pdf)


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